Frontier Internet Speed Class Action Overview:
- Quien: Frontier Communications has agreed to a $69 million settlement to end Federal Trade Commission (FTC) claims it misled consumers.
- Why: The FTC alleged the telecom company lied to customers and charged them for high-speed internet it didn’t actually deliver.
- Where: The lawsuit was settled in California federal court.
Frontier Communications has agreed to pay up to $69 million to end claims that it lied to customers about the speed of its DSL internet service.
According to a proposed settlement order filed in a California federal court May 5, the internet service provider will change its business practices and provide faster internet to tens of thousands of impacted customers.
Frontier has admitted no wrongdoing as part of the settlement.
The settlement comes after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the state of California filed a lawsuit against Frontier Communications last year on behalf of consumers.
Frontier Consumers Paid For More Expensive Service Than They Received, Lawsuit Says
According to the FTC, Frontier provides Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) internet to more than 1 million consumers in 25 states, many of them in rural areas.
Frontier told consumers that it could provide service “up to” certain speeds but failed to deliver, the FTC alleges.
The complaint details how, in some cases, Frontier could not even possibly deliver the speeds it promised. Some consumers paid for more expensive service than they received, the FTC says.
The settlement provides important relief for consumers, the FTC says.
“Under it, Frontier will be prohibited from making misrepresentations and will have to be able to substantiate speed claims on a customer-by-customer basis,” according to the FTC. “Consumers that were promised speeds that Frontier did not deliver will receive notice and be able to change or cancel plans without any penalty.”
Specifically, Frontier will deploy fiber optic internet service, which is much faster than DSL, to 60,000 residential locations in California over four years, an undertaking that comes with a price tag estimated to range from $50 million to $60 million.
Frontier will also pay $8.5 million in civil penalties and costs to the Los Angeles County and Riverside County district attorney’s offices. More than $250,000 will be distributed to the company’s California customers affected by the alleged conduct.
In the future, Frontier must back up its speed claims as well as allow customers to easily cancel their service if it fails to actually provide the promised speeds, the settlement states.
If you are a current or former Frontier internet, home phone and/or TV customer who was quoted or promised a lower monthly rate than you were actually charged as a result of the fees, or who was surprised by hidden rate increases via the fees, you may be able to get legal help to recover the fee payments you made (links to paid attorney content).
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